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Preview: ETFs



Commodities Investing Evolves With This ETF

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 11:43:42 +0000

With inflation ticking higher and the dollar still lethargic, the current environment is favorable for commodities. Investors considering exchange traded funds as a way of accessing commodities should remember an important point: Traditional commodities ETFs are usually long-only funds.

That strategy works when the commodities in the basket in question are rising, but not all commodities rise in unison. The Direxion Auspice Broad Commodity Strategy ETF (NYSE: COM) offers investors an evolved approach to this asset class.

COM, which is just over a year old, “allows investors to take advantage of rising commodity prices, in addition to mitigating risk by going flat (cash) when ...

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Podcast: Forget Bitcoin, Consider Blockchain ETFs

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 15:18:44 +0000

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  • (0:45) - What Is Blockchain Technology?
  • (3:50) - Reality Shares Nasdaq NexGen Economy ETF: BLCN
  • (8:30) -  Blockchain Hype: Screening Out Fly By Night Stocks
  • (11:00) - International and Sector Exposure
  • (17:35) - Current Performance of BLCN
  • (20:10) - Takeaways on Blockchain:

In this episode of ETF Spotlight, I talked with Eric Ervin, President and CEO at Reality Shares. Earlier this year, Reality Shares launched a blockchain ETF-- the Reality Shares Nasdaq NexGen Economy ...

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Broad Market Exposure On The Cheap With This iShares ETF

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 15:09:17 +0000

Hundreds of exchange traded funds offer investors broad market exposure and many do so with nominal fees. Among the least expensive is the iShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF (NYSE: ITOT).

ITOT, which turned 14 in January and tracks the S&P Total Market Index, charges just 0.03 percent per year. That is the equivalent of $3 on a $10,000 investment, making ITOT one of the least expensive ETFs on the market today.

ITOT “is an attractive choice for diversified exposure to U.S. stocks of all sizes and spans the value/growth continuum,” said Morningstar. “The exchange-traded fund efficiently tracks a broadly diversified and representative benchmark at a low cost, which gives it a persistent edge over its peers. It earns a Morningstar analyst rating of Gold.”

What Happened

ITOT holds 3,471 stocks, far more ...

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Don't Fret About This High Dividend ETF

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 12:34:57 +0000

High dividend stocks and exchange-traded funds are often thought to be vulnerable when the Federal Reserve embarks upon rate tightening cycles. For instance the WisdomTree U.S. High Dividend Fund (NYSE: DHS) tracks an index that has a trailing 12-month dividend yield of 4.08 percent and since the start of 2018, the S&P 500 has outpaced DHS by a significant margin.

DHS allocates more than 13 percent of its weight to real estate stocks, its second-largest sector allocation. The fund also devotes 18.52 percent of its combined weight to the rate-sensitive utilities and telecommunications sectors. All of that is to say that the ETF's laggard status in the face of four Fed rate hikes since the start of last year isn't surprising, but over the long term, DHS has the ...

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A Leveraged ETF On The Cusp Of Something Big

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 20:40:35 +0000

The Direxion Daily S&P Oil & Gas Exp. & Prod. Bull 3X Shares (NYSE: GUSH) closed Friday with an April gain of over 34 percent, making it the second-best performer among Direxion's leveraged bullish exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on a month-to-date basis.


These gains are arriving as the S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Select Industry Index is approaching multi-year highs. GUSH attempts to deliver triple the daily returns of that index.


What Happened


Predictably, energy stocks are being propelled by rising oil prices. On top of that, some technical analysts believe the S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Select Industry Index is on the brink of a major multi-year breakout. As it is, that index is up about 14 percent over the past ...

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Pot Stocks, ETFs And Top News From The Cannabis Industry This Week

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 20:16:19 +0000

4/20 is here, and in time for International Weed Day, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced plans to introduce a bill to decriminalize cannabis on a federal level next week. “The war on cannabis costs U.S. taxpayers $3.6 billion per year. 46 percent of all drug arrests are for simple cannabis possession, which only benefits the private for-profit prison system,” Smith said Friday. “I have championed cannabis decriminalization at the state level, but it’s past time for Congress to move on this important issue,” Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith told Benzinga. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted unanimously in favor of approving GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR (NASDAQ: GWPH)’s cannabis derived drug Epidolex for the treatment of two rare childhood-onset forms of epilepsy, which are commonly treatment-resistant. “Thursday was a great day for patients across the nation,” Sen. Daylin Leach (D–Penn.) said during a conversation with Benzinga. “Obviously this is terrific news for people suffering from epilepsy, but it’s also a harbinger of more FDA approval of cannabis products to come.” See reactions from four other experts in another Benzinga exclusive. Despite the good news, the United States Marijuana Index, which tracks 17 of the largest marijuana stocks in the U.S., lost 5.9 percent. Meanwhile, the North American Marijuana Index, which also includes Canadian stocks, posted losses of 5 percent. The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (OTC: HMLSF) slipped about 4 percent over the week, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE: MJ) slipped about 1 percent. Here are some of the top marijuana stocks in U.S. exchanges and how the performed this week: 22nd Century Group Inc (NYSE: XXII): down 2 percent Aphria Inc (OTC: APHQF): down 7 percent Aurora Cannabis Inc (OTC: ACBFF): down 1.3 percent Cannabis Sativa Inc (OTC: CBDS): up 2 percent CannTrust Holdings Inc (OTC: CNTTF): down 0.25 percent Canopy Growth Corp (OTC: TWMJF): up 0.5 percent Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON): up 3.2 percent GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR (NASDAQ: GWPH): up 7 percent Hiku Brands Company Ltd(OTC: DJACF): down 12 percent India Globalization Capital, Inc. (NYSE: IGC): up 3 percent MassRoots Inc (OTC: MSRT): down 1.9 percent MedReleaf Corp(OTC: MEDFF): up 0.75 percent Scotts Miracle-Gro Co (NYSE: SMG): down 0.5 percent THC Biomed Intl Ltd (OTC: THCBF): down 7 percent Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ZYNE): up 2.1 percent In The News Public relations and investor relations firm KCSA Strategic Communications acquired cannabis-focused PR firm Salar Media Group. Salar Media Group’s founder and CEO Cynthia Salarizadeh will join KCSA as a managing partner and said, “As the cannabis industry continues to evolve, we continue to see every aspect of it mature. In order to bring federal legalization into the end zone, it will require strategic communications and a lot of investment. “I built Salar Media Group to help reverse the damage done by Reefer Madness in the 30s; to help advance the industry through highlighting all of the best qualities and brands in order for the world to take notice of the benefits. [M]y clients will now have a larger infrastructure that will provide them a competitive advantage. The industry is now moving fast toward full legalization around the world. Those with the best teams and resources will be able to withstand the coming rush of big business interest and be able to take advantage of that development verse sink as a result.” A week ahead of the NFL Draft, former offensive NFL linesman with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Chicago Bears, Eben Britton announced the launch of his partnership with tele-health cannabis company Heally, to provide athletes with access to medical recommendations for [...]

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Time To Talk With Leveraged ETFs

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 20:15:09 +0000

This week, over 15 percent of the S&P 500 stepped into the earnings confessional. Next week, that number increases dramatically as over 40 percent of S&P 500 companies report quarterly results.


The primary reason why the number of earnings reports jumps next week is the onset of technology sector earnings. Technology is the largest sector weight in the S&P 500 and a broad swath of marquee names from the Technology Select Sector Index report results next week. Those earnings reports could spell opportunity with the Direxion Daily Technology Bull 3X Shares (NYSE: TECL) and the Direxion Daily Technology Bear 3X Shares (NYSE: TECS).


TECL attempts to deliver triple the daily returns of the Technology Select Sector Index while TECS tries to deliver triple ...

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Leverage Comes To The Robotics Trade

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 20:13:08 +0000

While it has cooled a bit after a scorching hot 2017, the artificial intelligence and robotics trade still offers plenty of long-term allure. And short-term traders looking to play a rebound in robotics now have a new option to consider.

The Daily Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Automation Index Bull 3X Shares (NYSE: UBOT) debuted Thursday as the first leveraged exchange-traded fund dedicated to artificial intelligence and robotics stocks.

What To Know

The Daily Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Automation Index Bull 3X Shares will look to deliver triple the daily returns of the Indxx Global Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Thematic Index. That's the same index tracked by ...

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Though Their Stocks Have Cooled, The Semiconductor Industry Is As Hot As Ever

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 18:09:32 +0000

The markets hate uncertainty, and there is more than enough of that to go around right now. But while near-term prospects might look hazy, traders can always take the long view and look towards the industry that is literally building the future: semiconductors.

One of the most reliable industries for outperformance in recent years has been the semiconductors. Stocks like NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) and Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) have been on years-long tears as investors have flooded the space with cash.

But this trend has slowed down in 2018. The following chart shows the year-to-date performance of the top 10 components in Direxion’s Daily Semiconductor Bull 3x (NYSE: SOXL) and Daily Semiconductor Bear 3x (NYSE: SOXS) ETFs.


While 2018 leaves a little to ...

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A Rapidly Growing Developed Markets ETF

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:46:49 +0000

Some new exchange-traded funds are well-timed. Others, not so much. To be fair, good timing with new ETFs is often a matter of coincidence, but as the old saying goes, “it's better to be lucky than good.”

In fairness to the iShares Core MSCI International Developed Markets ETF (NYSE: IDEV), the fund has been lucky and good. The luck comes into play when looking at IDEV's debut date. It launched in March 2017, at a time when investors were flocking to ex-U.S. developed markets ETFs in search of better valuations than U.S. stocks were offering.

There's more to the IDEV story than just mere luck.

What To Know

IDEV can be labeled a “good” ...

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Damn The Torpedoes: Defense & Aeronautic Sector Barrels Forward In Spite of Headwinds

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:38:30 +0000

There was little question following the results of the 2016 election that government defense and aviation contractors would receive a boost under the bellicose Trump administration. During the campaign, then-nominee Trump made frequent overtures about rebuilding the military, revamping America’s aviation infrastructure and beefing up the government’s cybersecurity network.

While the administration has yet to deliver on much of these promises, and an impending trade war between the U.S. and China could lead to rising costs, that hasn’t stopped stocks belonging to aeronautic, defense and other government contractors from taking off into orbit.

This isn’t to say specific defense stocks haven’t wavered in the policy shuffle, but the Direxion Daily Aerospace & Defense Bull 3X Shares ETF (NYSE: DFEN), which tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Select Aerospace & Defense Index, is up by just over 35 percent since its creation just over 10 months ago.

The chart below shows the difference between DFEN and the SPDR ...

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Trump Calls Out OPEC, Says 'Oil Prices Are Artificially Very High'

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:22:04 +0000

President Donald Trump’s tweets are once again moving financial markets, only this time it’s oil taking a hit.

What Happened

On Friday morning, Trump tweeted that OPEC has driven oil prices “artificially very high,” a move that “will not be accepted.”

Prior to Trump’s tweet, oil prices had hit three-year highs this week on geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and news of large draw-downs in U.S. crude stockpiles.

Earlier this week, Reuters reported Saudi Arabian officials would like to see crude oil prices rise above the ...

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Bipartisanship In An ETF

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 12:10:42 +0000

EventShares was the first issuer of exchange-traded funds appeal to investors' political proclivities by introducing actively managed funds designed to benefit from the policies of both major U.S. political parties. The firm also previously introduced the EventShares U.S. Tax Reform Fund, an active ETF designed to benefit from the recently passed tax reform legislation.

However, the EventShares U.S. Tax Reform Fund is being renamed the EventShares U.S. Policy Alpha ETF (BATS: PLCY) while the EventShares Republican Polices Fund (GOP) and the EventShares Democratic Policies Fund (DEMS) will be liquidated on Friday, April 27.

"It has been our view from the start that policy is an investable leading indicator, and we have seen that thesis play out in the outperformance of GOP and DEMS since launch, with both market prices ...

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As The Market Scrambles Over Tech And Trade Fears, ETF Fund Flow Signals Interesting Rotation

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:52:25 +0000

Fear continues to grip traders and investors in a wrestling match between a market filled with fundamental promise and a global and domestic economic picture that is just this side of bedlam. Major U.S. indexes continue to rise and fall by full percentage points daily, moving in tune with downward pressure from Nasdaq-listed tech stocks like Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). At the same time, fears persist of the costs of a perceived potential trade war with China and how that might impact industries from agriculture to aerospace.

All of this is making traders antsy. So, we took a look at the fund flow of a selection of Direxion leveraged specialty and sector ETFs. Because of their use as a hedging and short-term trading vehicle, these ETFs can paint an interesting picture of where traders are turning in the midst of a market seemingly at war with itself.

The following data is taken from and represents net purchases and redemptions over the month of March.

Followers Take the Lead

While Nasdaq-listed, mega-cap tech stocks have been the engine driving much of the market’s ...

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A Taiwan ETF Becomes An India Fund

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:49:31 +0000

First Trust, one of the largest issuers of smart beta exchange traded funds, is throwing in the towel on the First Trust Taiwan AlphaDEX Fund. First Trust is reconfiguring, rather than shuttering, the fund. 

The First Trust Taiwan AlphaDEX Fund is now the First Trust India NIFTY 50 Equal Weight ETF (NASDAQ: NFTY). The fund had $1.97 million in assets under management as of April 16, according to issuer data.

What Happened

First Trust has an expansive lineup of ETFs following the AlphaDEX methodology, which focuses on “growth factors including three-, six- and 12-month price appreciation, sales-to-price and one-year sales growth, and, separately, on value factors including ...

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